Food Packaging Materials: The Basic Types

Food is one product which requires meticulous packaging. This is because of the strict regulations and standards imposed in relation to health issues arising from wrong packaging. Food packaging materials should therefore be appropriate for providing consumers with superior health protection and convenience, as well as low environmental impacts. For your packaging needs, there are different materials to choose from for food and beverage:Interested readers can find more information about them at Food Packaging Design Companies in New Haven

Glass: This is a type of material that can be formed in different shapes and can be recycled without any major alteration in mechanical properties. Although it requires high forming temperatures, glass packaging content has very good barrier properties and gaseous and water vapor impermeability. It is primarily used for bottle and container production which can be pasteurized at high temperature. If there is one downside of glass as a packaging medium for food items, it is their fragility. If exposed to disrespectful treatment they crack quickly.

Metal: It has been a longstanding base in packaging. This is primarily used for food items in the manufacture of bottles, metal trays, foils, and bags. Metals like glasses have very good barrier properties but must be sterilized before packaging food and drink. It can also be used for meals which are frozen and heated. Disadvantages of metals as food packaging include the high cost, corrosion for some types and opaqueness that consumers can’t see what ‘s inside.

Paper and cardboard: These wood-based materials are mainly used in dry foods such as sugar , salt, bread, flour and others. Paper is lightweight , easy to print, yet permeable to air , water vapor and gas. They are very cheap materials, and yet they can easily be tailored to different shapes and sizes. Because of their highly sustainable property, paper as packaging material has very little impact on the environment.

Plastic: Plastic packaging is becoming popular even for microwave operations for food items. Plastic may be both synthetic and biodegradable. Synthetic plastic has low-cost production characteristics, good mechanical barrier properties, lightweight, elastic, recyclable yet non-biodegradable. Biodegradable plastics are treated specifically for the materials to decompose in specific ways.

Mixed materials (laminates): This type of packaging material consists of few thin layers of various materials such as metallic plastic and paper films. They also have very good barrier properties, and the laminate packaging is airtight, which increases product shell life.

Active and smart packaging: Food packaging materials containing substances that prolong shelf life. These compounds are mostly absorbent of oxygen and ethylene. They might also be compounds that emit or bind oxygen dioxide, which regulate water, antioxidants and antibacterial substances.

Nanocomposites: These are packaging of a new generation with specific properties that improve mechanical and barrier properties. They are usually applied to production of oxygen and water vapor bottles or films with very low permeability. This one is relatively expensive but is recyclable.